A medical practitioner assigned in Gbarnga, Bong County has underscored the important role medical laboratory technicians play in a given health facility.
Emmanuel Akan Sugwina spoke on Friday, May 5, at the end of a daylong career awareness exercise for future medical laboratory technicians (MLTs). The awareness brought together over 60 students from four high schools in Gbarnga and students from the Phebe Paramedical Training Program. Mr. Sugwina is the laboratory pre-service education advisor to the Maternal and Child Survival Program, Human Resource for Health (MCSP/HRH).
The exercise was hosted under the auspices of Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP).
The high schools included St. Martin Catholic High School, the government-run Dolokelen Gboveh High School, St. Peter Episcopal High School, St. Mark Lutheran High School and the United Methodist William V.S. Tubman-Gray High School.
The MCSP is a global, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Cooperative Agreement to introduce and support high impact health interventions with the ultimate goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths in a generation.
The sole purpose of the exercise, according to Mr. Sugwina, is to demand a new generation of medical laboratory technician programs in Liberia because in the health sector it is observed that there are huge gaps for laboratory technicians at the various clinics and hospitals across the country.
Mr. Sugwina indicated that the MCSP/HRH is a USAID-sponsored two-year program supporting the Liberian government’s commitment to fortify the country’s health sector by strengthening pre-service education and building a productive and motivated workforce.
He said the focus of the program is to ensure that all women, newborn and children most in need have equitable access to quality healthcare to save their lives.
Mr. Sugwina explained that the objectives of the exercise are to promote awareness for gender balance in the medical laboratory technician program, and create an awareness to meet the demand in the health delivery system for medical laboratory technicians in the country.
“Medical laboratory technicians are detectives for diseases performing clinical laboratory testing to diagnose disease and monitor medical treatment. MLTs help build the future of trusted, quality healthcare” Mr. Sugwina said.
He said MLTs help determine the causes of illnesses, make diagnosis and decide treatment opportunities, prevent sicknesses and diseases by examining patients’ specimens and provide results to ordering physicians.
Facilitators for the one day career day program were drawn from the Phebe Paramedical Training (PPT) program, the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA) and the Stella Maris Polytechnic – Mother Patern College of Health Sciences (MPCHS), with each institution outlining challenges and successes through a PowerPoint presentation.
Participating students were given the opportunity to ask questions relating to the laboratory career.